- 1[intransitive] founder (on something) (of a plan, etc.) to fail because of a particular problem or difficulty The project foundered after problems with funding. The peace talks foundered on a basic lack of trust. The venture might easily founder for want of capital to finance expansion.
- 2[intransitive] founder (on something) (of a ship) to fill with water and sink Our boat foundered on a reef. See related entries: Travelling by boat or ship Word Originverb Middle English (in the sense ‘knock to the ground’): from Old French fondrer, esfondrer
BrE BrE//ˈfaʊndə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaʊndər//(formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they founder
BrE BrE//ˈfaʊndə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaʊndər//he / she / it founders
BrE BrE//ˈfaʊndəz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaʊndərz//past simple foundered
BrE BrE//ˈfaʊndəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaʊndərd//past participle foundered
BrE BrE//ˈfaʊndəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaʊndərd//-ing form foundering
BrE BrE//ˈfaʊndərɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈfaʊndərɪŋ//Travelling by boat or ship